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Photojournalist David Honl releases shoe-mount strobe light modifiers  
Sunday, July 8, 2007 | by Rob Galbraith
David Honl, a photojournalist who splits his time between Los Angeles and Istanbul, has developed a line of reasonably-priced light modifiers for Canon, Nikon and other makers' shoe-mount strobes. The line is comprised of the Speed Gobo (which doubles as a bounce card, or barndoors when paired with a second Speed Gobo), Speed Snoot (in two different lengths) and Speed Strap for attachment of the modifiers to the flash unit.
Light Speed: David Honl's line of shoe-mount strobe light modifiers (Photo by David Honl)
Speed Gobo
The US$9.95 Speed Gobo is a 4 x 7.5 inch card sheathed in ballistic nylon. One side is black, the other a white polymer material suitable for use as a bounce card. Velcro on both sides makes it possible to attach the Speed Gobo with either the black or white side in.
Speed Snoot
The Speed Snoot is designed to create a "soft edged circle of light," features the same black ballistic nylon exterior as the Speed Gobo, has a shiny aluminized light grey fabric interior and rigid plastic spline to keep the end of the snoot circular. Depending on the flash unit, the diameter of the end of the snoot can be adjusted from roughly 2.5 to 3.5 inches, says Honl, to allow for a measure of control over the size of the projected area of light. It mates to the flash with a velcro strip and folds out flat for transport.
The Speed Snoot is available in two different versions, which vary in their length: a 5 inch Shorty for US$14.95 and an 8 inch Regular for US$19.95.
Speed Strap
The US$9.95 Speed Strap is a universal attachment strap for the Speed Gobo and Speed Snoots. The 1.5 inch-wide velcro band doesn't use adhesive to attach itself to the strobe, says Honl. Instead, it's comprised of a "slip-free rubberized ToughTek material, so once it's wrapped firmly around the head it stays in place and can be left on at all times."
It should fit securely to most shoe-mount strobes. Honl has tested it with all Nikon Speedlights from the SB-24 through to the present-day SB-800, various Canon EZ- and EX-series Speedlites (including the 430EZ, 540EZ, 430EX, 550EX and 580EX), the Vivitar 283 and several Metz and Sunpak units. It will not fit properly on the zoom head of the Vivitar 285, he says.
The Speed Gobo, Speed Snoot and Speed Strap, as well as a trio of Camera and Lens Wraps that Honl has been making for the past three years, are available for purchase exclusively through his online store. Products are shipped worldwide via USPS (United States Postal Service); order fulfillment is a family affair, with shipping handled by Honl's Dad in Chicago.
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